Oil slides 4 percent on worry of market turmoil if UK leaves EU

Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:56pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices slumped about 4 percent and hit one-month lows on Thursday, settling down for a sixth straight day, on fears of global economic turmoil if Britain exits the European Union.

It was the longest slide for oil since early January, when prices fell seven days in a row before hitting 12-year lows below $30 a barrel on worries about a global crude glut.

This time around, a resurgent dollar is hammering crude futures and other commodities on speculation that Britain could vote to end its EU membership. [MKTS/GLOB]

The dollar .DXY hit two-week highs, then eased back on the sterling's GBP= strength as Britain suspended campaigning over its EU membership status after a deadly attack on a Member of Parliament.

Oil pared losses as the sterling rose, but crude tumbled again in post-settlement trade to reach new lows on the day.

Brent crude futures' front-month contact LCOc1 settled down $1.78, or 3.6 percent, at $47.19 per barrel. In post-settlement trade, it fell to as low as $46.94, its lowest since May 12.

Brent has lost about $5 a barrel, or around 10 percent, over the past six sessions. Prior to that, it hit an eight-month high of nearly $53 on supply disruptions out of Nigeria and Canada.

The front-month in U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 settled down $1.80, or 3.8 percent, at $46.21 a barrel. It got to a May 13 low of $45.91 after the close.   Continued...

A worker looks at a pump jack at an oil field Buzovyazovskoye owned by Bashneft company north from Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, July 11, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo